Federal Judge Blocks Killing of Ferry County Wolf

file photo

The lone surviving member of the Old Profanity Territory (OPT) wolf pack has been spared by the stroke of a federal judge’s pen.

IFiberOne News reports the Friday ruling was made just days after the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) announced it had already eliminated four of the pack’s five members in an effort to curtail their depredation of livestock.

The lawsuit was filed by a pair of Seattle residents with the backing of the animal rights group Center for a Humane Economy, which is based in Washington D.C.

The suit had initially sought a restraining order to prevent the lethal removal of wolves from the OPT pack, which was denied by the judge.

The same judge ruled Friday that “due diligence on non-lethal methods” had not been properly explored by the state and ranchers who were impacted by the predations.

“Having to carry out lethal removals of wolves is a difficult situation and something the department takes very seriously,” said Fish and Wildlife spokeswoman Staci Lehman in an email to the Spokesman Review. “WDFW makes every effort to make a responsible decision after considering the available evidence. We appreciate the time the court put into reviewing this material and will work with the court throughout the process ahead.”

The suit contends the WDFW acted illegally and failed to properly follow the policies of the state’s Wolf Advisory Group by reauthorizing the order to lethally remove the OPT pack.

A series of WDFW investigations had shown the pack responsible for 29 depredation incidents.  Director Kelly Susewind reauthorized the lethal removals on July 31, in response to continuing depredations of cattle on federal grazing lands in the Kettle River range of Ferry County.  The removal decision was made with guidance from the state’s Wolf Conservation and Management Plan and the lethal removal provisions of the department’s wolf-livestock interaction protocol.

The OPT pack has been involved in 14 livestock depredations in the last 10 months, with nine in the last 30 days, and a total of 29 since Sept. 5, 2018. The livestock producer who owns the affected livestock took several proactive, nonlethal, conflict deterrence measures to reduce conflicts between wolves and livestock, and WDFW will continue to monitor for wolf activity in the area and work closely with producers.

The OPT inhabits the same area as the Profanity Peak Pack, which the state killed seven members of in 2016.


WDFW asking for public comment on Sept. 4 in Colville…

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has opened a public comment period to gather input on how the department will manage wolves in Washington post-recovery.

Biologists are confident that Washington’s wolf population is on a path to successful recovery. Since 2008, the state’s wolf population has grown an average of 28% per year. WDFW documented a minimum of 126 individuals, 27 packs, and 15 successful breeding pairs during the last annual population survey.

“Long-term sustainability and persistence of Washington’s wolf population will always be a department priority,” said WDFW Director Kelly Susewind. “We know that Washington wolves are doing well, and it’s our responsibility to be prepared to help wolf and human populations coexist in the same landscape.”

Although it may be a few years before meeting wolf recovery goals, WDFW is preparing for when wolves are no longer designated as state or federally endangered by developing a post-recovery conservation and management plan. It will guide long-term wolf conservation and management.

As part of using the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) process, WDFW will include an extensive public input and engagement process to develop the plan. This involves preparing a draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that will evaluate actions, alternatives, and impacts related to long-term wolf conservation and management. The department will develop the draft EIS based on feedback, and the public can review and comment on the draft once it is complete.

“The department currently uses the Wolf Conservation and Management Plan, adopted in 2011, to guide wolf management activities in Washington,” said Julia Smith, WDFW wolf coordinator. “However, the 2011 plan was developed specifically to inform and guide Washington wolf recovery while wolves are considered threatened or endangered. The new plan will focus on how the department will conserve and manage wolves after their recovery.”

Public input and feedback is vital to this effort. The public scoping comment period is open from Aug. 1, 2019 through Nov.1, 2019. You can share your thoughts by taking an online survey at https://wdfw.wa.gov/species-habitats/at-risk/species-recovery/gray-wolf/post-recovery-planning, or by attending one of the following 14 public scoping open houses in your community:

Sept. 3, 2019 – 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Spokane Community College (SCC), The Lair Student Center, Building #6, Sasquatch and Bigfoot Room 124 & 124C, 1810 Green St., Spokane, WA 99217

Sept. 4, 2019 – 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Agriculture & Trade Center, 215 S. Oak St., Colville, WA 99114

Sept. 5, 2019 – 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Quality Inn and Suites, Half Mahogany Room, 700 Port Drive, Clarkston, WA 99403

Sept. 11, 2019 – 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Chelan Fire Station, 232 E. Wapato Ave, Chelan, WA 98816

Sept. 25, 2019 – 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Franklin PUD auditorium, 1411 W. Clark St, Pasco, WA 99301

Sept. 26, 2019 – 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Selah Civic Center, 216 S. 1st St., Selah, WA 98942

Mt. Vernon
Oct. 7, 2019 – 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, 10441 Bayview-Edison Rd., Mt. Vernon, WA 98273

Oct. 8, 2019 – 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Eagle Room, City Hall, 130 E. Sunset Way, Issaquah, WA 98027

Oct. 9, 2019 – 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Red Lion Hotel and Conference Center, 510 Kelso Drive, Kelso, WA 98626

Oct. 10, 2019 – 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Lyle Community Center, 700 Main Street, Morton, WA 98356

Oct. 15, 2019 – 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Natural Resources Building (Room 172), 1111 Washington SE, Olympia, WA 98504

To be determined

Port Angeles
Oct. 29, 2019 – 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Peninsula College, House of Learning (Longhouse), 1502 E. Lauridsen Blvd., Port Angeles, WA 98362

Oct. 30, 2019 – 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Montesano City Hall, 112 N. Main St., Montesano, WA 98563

A webinar will also be available for those who are interested. It will be from 6:00-7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 17. It can be viewed here or from the home page of WDFW’s website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is the state agency tasked with preserving, protecting and perpetuating fish, wildlife and ecosystems, while providing sustainable fishing, hunting, and other recreation opportunities.

Persons with disabilities who need to receive this information in an alternative format or who need reasonable accommodations to participate in WDFW-sponsored public meetings or other activities may contact Dolores Noyes by phone (360-902-2349), TTY (360-902-2207), or email (dolores.noyes@dfw.wa.gov). For more information, see https://wdfw.wa.gov/accessibility/reasonable_request.html

Wolf kills calf on WA Fish and Wildlife lands in Asotin Co.

Video: KREM 2

Based on the combination of tissue damage with associated hemorrhaging and wolf locations, WDFW staff classified the even as a confirmed wolf attack.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The video above is about a different story where Washington lawmakers looked to find non-lethal methods of curbing wolf issues in Eastern Washington.

ASOTIN CO., Wash.– The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife announced Friday that an investigation into the death of a calf in Asotin County indicated a wolf was responsible for the calf’s death.

WDFW discovered a dead 400 to 450 lbs. calf in a 160-acre fenced pasture while working on the agency’s Ranch Wildlife Area July 8, according to the report posted on WDFW’s website. Conflict staff contacted the livestock producer, who has authorization to graze livestock on the land through a lease with WDFW and conducted an investigation on site.

WDFW staff’s investigation of the calf’s carcass revealed hemorrhaging and tissue damage on the calf’s left side, including the chest and lower neck area, front and back of the front leg, lower portion of the rear leg and tooth punctures and scrapes on the inside of the lower leg and groin, according to the WDFW report. WDFW also documented hemorrhaging and tissue damage on the calf’s right side, including the chest and lower neck area, rear side of the front leg continuing into surrounding tissue behind the leg, the area in front of the rear leg and the lower half of the rear leg, according to the report.

The report says most of the calf’s hindquarter had been consumer. WDFW removed the carcass and buried it after the investigation.

WDFW’s report says the damage to the carcass was indicative of a “wolf depredation,” the term used when a wolf kills a domestic animal.  Location data from the collared wolf in the Grouse Flats pack also showed at least one member of the pack in the vicinity during the approximate time the calf died, according to the report.

Based on the combination of tissue damage with associated hemorrhaging and wolf locations, WDFW staff classified the even as a confirmed wolf depredation, the report said.

The producer who owned the calf monitors the her by range riding at least every other day, the report said. The producer maintains regular human presence in the area, removes or secures livestock carcasses to avoid attracting wolves and avoids areas known for high wolf activity, according to the report.

The producer deployed Fox lights in the grazing area following the attack and will increase the frequency of range riding until cattle can be moved to a different pasture, the report said.

The Grouse Flats pack was involved in three depredation incidents in 2018, according to WDFW.

Washington Ranchers vs. wolves

RELATED: Washington OKs killing of wolf pack members preying on cattle

RELATED: Conservation group offers cash reward in killing of wolf in NE Wash.

RELATED: Number of gray wolves in Washington state continues to grow

Washington State Officials to Kill Wolf Families to Protect Cows

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) officials have ordered the killing of the members of the Old Profanity Territory (OPT) family.

Why? To protect cows grazing on public lands.

Last September, WDFW killed two members of the OPT family in an attempt to stop livestock attacks. When the depredations continued, officials attempted to kill the remaining two wolves but were unsuccessful. Director Kelly Susewind then paused action seeking to lethally remove the two remaining wolves from the OPT pack.

Beyond being cruel and in violation of the desires of a majority of Americans, these kill orders are not working.

“WDFW has been killing wolves to deter conflict since 2012 when the agency wiped out the entire Wedge Pack, yet depredations on livestock continue,” said Maggie Howell, executive director of the Wolf Conservation Center. “Peer-reviewed research demonstrates that killing predators is not only an ineffective solution to deter depredation on cows, but it can even result in increased attacks.”

WDFW knows that peer-reviewed research demonstrates that killing predators is not only an ineffective solution to deter depredation on cows, but it can even result in increased attacks on livestock by survivors.

Killing state-endangered wolves on to benefit the profit margins of a private business is wrong on every level.

Please contact WDFW Director Kelly Susewind before it’s too late and respectfully ask him to call off the kill order.

CALL 360-902-2200
E-mail director@dfw.wa.gov

URGENT! Please read and make just one phone call! This could be the fourth time that Washington State politicians kill wolves because of the same rancher, Len McIrvin, who is a known wolf hater and saboteur. McIrvin’s private, non-native cows do not belong on public lands, land that is clearly vital native wolf habitat. PLEASE MAKE ONE PHONE CALL TO: Washington State Governor Jay inslee NOW, tomorrow may be too late. Urge Gov. Inslee to rescind the kill order on these native wolves. Inslee is running for President. Tell him your interest in his candidacy will sky rocket if he rescinds the kill order! Call Gov. Inslee at 360-902-4111, and leave an urgent comment on his comment line. If enough good people call, we have a chance to stop the killing.

WDFW Director Susewind to take online questions from Eastern Washington


Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) Director Kelly Susewind and his Eastern Region Director Steve Pozzanghera will take questions from the public in an online broadcast from 6 to 7 p.m. on Monday, July 8, 2019.

“Our Eastern Region is a large area with a wide variety of terrain, habitat and species,” said Susewind. “I understand and care that the concerns of people living and recreating in this area may be different from those in other parts of the state. It’s a chance for me to hear what is on the minds of the public and our customers here.”

This is the second digital open house held by the Director on a regional level. The Department’s Eastern Region spans Asotin, Columbia, Ferry, Garfield, Lincoln, Pend Orielle, Spokane, Stevens, Walla Walla, and Whitman counties. Members of the public can watch and ask questions from links on the department’s website, wdfw.wa.gov<http://www.wdfw.wa.gov>, or at https://player.invintus.com/?clientID=2836755451&eventID=2019071000.

Susewind and Pozzanghera will share updates on a few local issues, such as concerns about encounters with bears, wolves and cougars; prescribed burn efforts;
the change to anterless deer hunting in northern counties; the current white sturgeon fishing season, and results of the joint northern pike suppression effort on Lake Roosevelt.

Last fall, Susewind, who has been in the role for approaching a year, held a series of in-person open houses across the state in Spokane, Ephrata, Selah, Montesano, Ridgefield, and Issaquah. Since then, he’s also held three digital opens houses that allow public to ask questions and get updates from the convenience of their own home.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is the state agency tasked with preserving, protecting and perpetuating fish, wildlife and ecosystems, while providing sustainable fishing and hunting opportunities.

Persons with disabilities who need to receive this information in an alternative format or who need reasonable accommodations to participate in WDFW-sponsored public meetings or other activities may contact Dolores Noyes by phone (360-902-2349), TTY (360-902-2207), or email (dolores.noyes@dfw.wa.gov<mailto:dolores.noyes@dfw.wa.gov>). For more information, see https://wdfw.wa.gov/accessibility/reasonable_request.html.

Washington’s Wolves Need Your Help


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wants to strip federal Endangered Species Act protection from wolves in almost all of the lower 48 states — including Washington. This could be a devastating blow, returning us to the days when wolves were shot on sight, killed in traps and relentlessly persecuted.

To make matters worse: Washington’s wildlife agency has sent a letter to the Trump administration supporting this plan and claiming that it will protect the state’s wolves if they lose federal protections.

We know that’s not true.

The agency has a long history of gunning down wolves within state borders anywhere federal protections don’t apply. If wolves lose these protections in the rest of the state, the agency will expand its atrocious wolf-killing program.

But there’s something we can do.

The proposal to delist wolves has been slammed as fundamentally flawed by a panel of scientists, who found that it contains misleading statements and erroneous scientific interpretations.

Washington’s Governor Jay Inslee has made science a hallmark of his administration and in the bills he’s championed to protect Washington’s environment. We can call on Gov. Inslee to stand up for scientific integrity and rein in his rogue wildlife agency.

Urge Gov. Inslee to officially tell the Service that he opposes removing federal wolf protections.

For the greatest impact, add a few sentences of your own at the start of our form letter.

Newhouse heads bipartisan contingent in seeking to delist gray wolf as endangered

Newhouse heads bipartisan contingent in seeking to delist gray wolf as endangered

U.S. Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-WA) this week headed a bipartisan contingent in supporting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife’s proposed rule to delist the gray wolf from the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in the contiguous United States.

“The gray wolf should be considered a success story of the Endangered Species Act,” Rep. Newhouse said on Tuesday.

Because gray wolves now are found across the United States and globally, their populations should be managed in America at the local level by individual states, wrote Rep. Newhouse and 33 other bipartisan members of Congress in a May 28 letter sent to U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary David Bernhardt and Margaret Everson, principal deputy director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).

“State and local governments, tribes, and other stakeholders are best suited to develop effective, local management plans for gray wolf populations,” the members wrote. “We should be empowering them to do so — not hindering them with unscientific, burdensome federal regulations.”

Among the 33 members joining Rep. Newhouse in signing the letter were U.S. Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Tom Emmer (R-MN), Greg Walden (R-OR), Ken Calvert (R-CA), Sean Duffy (R-WI), Mark Amodei (R-NV), Bill Flores (R-TX) and Collin Peterson (D-MN).

Rep. Newhouse and his colleagues wrote that a USFWS 2013 review determined gray wolf recovery goals had been achieved, but the agency’s proposed rule to remove them from the ESA was stalled by objecting environmental groups.

Now, according to their letter, “We cannot let scientific findings fall victim to politically motivated attacks. As the proposed rule demonstrates, the gray wolf is a success story of the ESA.”

The lawmakers want the USFWS proposed rule finalized swiftly, they wrote.

“Federally delisting the gray wolf will allow Washington state to implement the comprehensive wolf management plan that will give relief to farmers, ranchers and communities that are affected by growing wolf populations,” Rep. Newhouse said.

WDFW investigators assure rancher shooting wolf was lawful

Northeastern Washington wolf
A northeastern Washington state wolf in a photo taken by a trail camera. State wildlife officials have determined that a rancher was justified in killing a wolf as it headed toward three calves that were in a fenced area.

An Okanogan County rancher who shot and killed a wolf as it approached three newborn calves was promptly cleared by Washington Fish and Wildlife investigators, according to records released Tuesday.

The rancher shot the young male wolf the morning of April 29. The reports, released in response to a records request by the Capital Press, were redacted to withhold the names of the rancher and investigators, as well as the exact location.

The shooting occurred east of Highway 97, where wolves are not federally protected, but are a state protected species. The unjustified killing of a state endangered animal is a gross misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail and a $5,000 fine.

“I could tell (the rancher) was very tense, and I assured (him) that we were present to document what had occurred, and we were there to advocate for his personal and property rights as much as the rights of wildlife,” according to one investigator’s report.

Another investigator noted that only five days earlier, Fish and Wildlife Director Kelly Susewind had issued a memo directing department employees to “maintain public safety as a priority.”

The investigator said he “wanted to make prompt decisions to alleviate any fear the family had.”

“I informed (the rancher and his wife) that it was a justified act and did not want them to stress about a delayed finding or decision,” he wrote.

Washington law allows livestock owners to kill without a permit one wolf that is attacking their domestic animals. The law does not apply to the western two-thirds of Washington, where wolves are protected by the federal Endangered Species Act.

The rancher told investigators he was home with two young children when he saw an animal near the house moving toward the fenced pasture between 8 and 9 a.m.

Three calves born the night before were near the fence. The rancher said he keeps newborn calves in the pasture closest to his house to protect them from predators.

The rancher said he wasn’t sure whether it was a wolf or coyote and yelled to scare it away. The animal continued toward the pasture. The rancher fired the only round in his rifle.

The bullet went over one cow, the rancher said. An investigator noted the bullet also would have passed a children’s jungle gym in the backyard.

Investigators found an entrance wound near the wolf’s heart and lungs.

The distance from the home’s back porch to the carcass was approximately 280 yards, according to measurements taken by the Fish and Wildlife investigators. The carcass was 56 yards from the pasture’s fence.

“Once in with the cattle, it may be difficult to shoot the animal actively attacking a calf,” one investigator wrote. “No charges were filed against the RP. Case closed.”

Fish and Wildlife investigators noted that the family had reported wolves around their ranch last fall and photographed one with a trail camera. A driver delivering a package reported seeing two pups on the property last fall.

UPDATED: Rep. Shea’s secret group discussed sending severed wolf tail and testicles to environmental activist

Bosworth suggested sending severed wolf parts to environmental activist Kierán Suckling. - GARY KRAMER/USFWS PHOTO

Gary Kramer/USFWS photo
Bosworth suggested sending severed wolf parts to environmental activist Kierán Suckling.

This article has been updated to correct who sent the screenshot with Suckling’s address information, link to the response from Redoubt News, and include the statement from the source who leaked the Signal messages.

By now, Rep. Matt Shea (R-Spokane Valley) and his allies definitely know the name Kierán Suckling. As executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity, Suckling has repeatedly been at the opposite side of some of the most heated controversies in Shea’s world. It was Suckling’s group who was battling Cliven Bundy, the cattle rancher who’s defiance led to an armed standoff in 2014. When right-wing militants occupied the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, it was Suckling who showed up to counterprotest. And lately, it’s been Suckling’s group that has been pushing litigation to protect wolves in Washington state.

“Since the ’90s, we have been exposing the connection between anti-environmentalists and the militias and the white supremacist movement,” Suckling says. “These are part and parcel of the same world view.”

Rep. Matt Shea hates wolves, and he’s not too fond of being tied to white supremacists. (Though that didn’t stop him from linking to a white nationalist website to slam a journalist he disliked.)

And so perhaps it’s not surprising that when Shea’s allies discussed targeting specific individuals with the state legislator on the private messaging app Signal, Suckling’s name came up.

The plan being brainstormed? Send the guy severed wolf parts.

Last month, Guardian journalist Jason Wilson wrote a story based on some of these leaked Signal messages, as Shea’s allies reveled in detailed fantasies of violence against local Spokane residents. The revelations sparked bipartisan condemnation in the Washington state Legislature.

Among other moments, Three Percenter Anthony Bosworth — the guy who Shea feted with a “2016 Patriot of the Year” award and sent down to the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge as a “security specialist” to “de-escalate” the standoff — discussed targeting alleged “antifa” members by confronting their parents, their workplaces, their landlords and targeting their “safe spaces”… “while they’re out on the streets rioting.”

“If we can catch a few of them alone and work him over a little bit,” Bosworth wrote, according to the Guardian. While Shea was not quoted directly encouraging violence, he offered to help run background checks for those who were.

In the Spokesman-Review, Bosworth characterized his comments as mere angry venting. The Spokesman reported that many of the comments were made in the lead-up to Nov. 4, 2017, which right-wing groups incorrectly believed would be a day of far-left violence. But previously unpublished chat messages obtained by the Inlander showed that discussions of targeting political opponents continued after the rumored “Antifa Civil War” date fizzled without an incident.

The discussion about targeting Suckling begins on Dec. 12, 2017. Bosworth, using the screen name “Scout,” wants to send Suckling a message.

The image that Anthony Bosworth suggested sending to Suckling, along with severed wolf parts. - SIGNAL SCREENCAP

Signal screencap
The image that Anthony Bosworth suggested sending to Suckling, along with severed wolf parts.

Bosworth posts a picture of a skull and crossbones along with “смерть,” the Russian word for death. The image was the symbol of the Revolutionary Insurrectionary Army of Ukraine (1918), an anarchist guerrilla force that fought against both the Communist Reds and the establishment Whites in the Russian Civil War. Shea’s group had discussed using the symbol as a calling card.

“As far as I’m concerned we can send one of these and a wolf tail to Suckling,” Bosworth writes to the group. “Suckling would make sure it made national news.”

One of the other group members — Jay Pounder, the source who leaked the Signal conversations to the Guardian — posts a screenshot of Suckling’s address and contact information.

“OK, do we have anybody up north to get us a tail?” Bosworth responds.

A redacted version of Suckling's address and contact information, shared in the group with Shea. - SIGNAL SCREENCAP

Signal screencap
A redacted version of Suckling’s address and contact information, shared in the group with Shea.

Pounder then floats the name of Cope Reynolds, a Three Percenter and a gun rights activist who, like Suckling, is based in Arizona. (If you’re assuming Reynolds uses the Confederate flag as his Facebook banner image, you’d be correct.)

“Well, if Cope crossed a wolf he’d smoke it himself,” Bosworth responded.

“These transplanted wolf packs can be traced back through DNA,” Bosworth writes. “Get me the testicles off a North Idaho wolf and I’ll send it to him.”

A dozen minutes later on Signal, Shea — using the screen name Verumbellator — gives Bosworth a warning. To be clear, he doesn’t warn Bosworth that he shouldn’t cut the tail and testicles off a North Idaho wolf corpse to send to environmental activist along with a skull and crossbones.

Instead, he warns Bosworth that they shouldn’t talk about this stuff electronically, and instead they should do it face-to-face.

“This is not something to put out electronically,” Shea writes. “We need to meet f2f.”

(Shea is frequently cautious about information security, once telling a crowd that there are “private investigators that work for the Republican establishment, that actually use technology to hack into your phone.”)

“Roger,” Bosworth responds. And with that, he drops the subject.

It’s possible, of course, that Shea met Bosworth to discourage him from sending a threatening package. But Suckling is skeptical: Why would Shea want to take the conversation offline to tell Bosworth he shouldn’t threaten Suckling.

Either way, Suckling says, he’s never had anyone deliver him anything resembling a wolf tail and testicles. But he argues that just the fact that it was discussed is revealing. In an email, he explained:

“Threatening to mutilate a wolf and mail its bloody body parts is outright psychotic. But it won’t scare the Center for Biological Diversity, it makes us fight harder for the endangered species and people Matt Shea has declared war on. He’s a textbook example of how racism, sexism, homophobia, religious intolerance, animal abuse, and anti-environmentalism go hand in hand. Shea should resign or be impeached immediately. His paranoid self-dealing authoritarianism has no place in American democracy.”

Shea’s legislative assistant, Rene’ Holaday, responded to a request for comment with this statement:

“Thank you for writing to the office of Rep. Matt Shea. Rep. Shea is out of town on a Missions trip serving the Lord, and won’t be back for several more days.”

As Shea rarely speaks to the local reporters, instead preferring to bash them from a distance after the story has come out, the Inlander does not anticipate the state representative agreeing to answer questions when he returns. If he does, we will update the story.

Bosworth has so far not agreed to a phone interview with the Inlander, but in an email sent Tuesday morning, he offered the following statement:

“Here’s what I have to say about Wolves and Fine Cigars , ‘smokem if you got them'”

The eco-terrorists can stick that in your pipe and smoke it.

Suckling, meanwhile, acknowledges he’s been arrested in civil disobedience actions before, including chaining himself to trees and occupying politician and developer offices, but stresses that these actions were nonviolent.

In that vein, no evidence has surfaced to suggest that Bosworth, Shea or the other members of the Signal chat undertook any of the violent or threatening tactics discussed. Still, the chats are rife with fantasies about violence and destruction toward various individuals and businesses.

“When the Patriot Revolution starts I know what store I’m burning to the ground,” Bosworth writes in a Signal message, linking to a search for “Antifa” products at Walmart.

And Bosworth has become violent in the past, including allegedly getting into a fistfight at a funeral.

Kierán Suckling, director of the Center for Biological Diversity. - COURTESY OF KIERÁN SUCKLING

Courtesy of Kierán Suckling
Kierán Suckling, director of the Center for Biological Diversity.

Suckling says his group has been the victim of arson and violence before.

“We’ve had the militia show up at our office and try to get inside,” Suckling says. “We’ve had a truck [torched] in our parking lot. We’ve had people beaten up over the years.”

He says he won’t be dissuaded by the tactics of Shea and his allies.

“We have to push on and never let this thing deter us from saving endangered species,” Suckling says. “If there’s anything worth dying over it’s stopping the mass extinction that’s going on with this planet right now.”

But not, to Suckling at least, worth killing over.


As of Wednesday morning, Bosworth sent the Inlander link to a post by Redoubt News, a far-right blog that champions the patriot right. It notes that the first version of the Inlander blog incorrectly identified who shared Suckling’s contact information, and also accuses Pounder of using “willing, radical, left-wing extremists to further his own personal grudges against Matt Shea and his friends” and of “using extreme violent rhetoric himself.” It does not, however, provide any proof that the Guardian‘s source had used that rhetoric, nor does it provide any clarity for why Shea wanted to meet Bosworth face-to-face to discuss his wolf-package proposal. (Pounder denies using the incendiary rhetoric quoted by Redoubt News.)

On Wednesday, Pounder released a lengthy statement on Facebook explaining why he leaked the Signal messages. He denies that he was trying to set Shea up — instead, he says that he gradually became disillusioned with the Shea organization and eventually decided to speak up.

Dear Friends,

Right now we face an unprecedented threat to the public safety and security of the Pacific Northwest and that is all due to the threat of Christian Identity Politics, what is that you ask? Check out this article from Christianity Today’s Editor in Chief Mark Galli: https://bit.ly/2DHGxyC

Why this is important and relevant right now, I’ll start in with a scripture… because this week I’ve read many times and it keeps speaking to me;

2 Chronicles 16:7-9: “At that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah and said to him: “Because you relied on the king of Aram and not on the LORD your God, the army of the king of Aram has escaped from your hand. 8 Were not the Cushites[b] and Libyans a mighty army with great numbers of chariots and horsemen[c]? Yet when you relied on the LORD, he delivered them into your hand. 9 For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. You have done a foolish thing, and from now on you will be at war. 10 Asa was angry with the seer because of this; he was so enraged that he put him in prison. At the same time Asa brutally oppressed some of the people.”

Consider that last verse, “Asa was angry with the seer because of this; he was so enraged that he put him in prison. At the same time Asa brutally oppressed some of the people.”

Well as some of you have read and heard that a series of articles and chats that I was privy to that I released several NW media outlets regarding the activities of a State Rep Matt Shea that I used to be involved with several years ago.

I want to make it evidently clear. I parted ways with State Rep Matt Shea due to his headlong full barrel decent into the world and ideologies of Christian Identity politics and Dominionism. I feel that at the time I followed proper Biblical protocol in addressing what I was seeing and hearing from Matthew and what at that time I considered “my people”. He may differ in opinion. While I volunteered with him, I was caught up in the ideas of identity politics and didn’t know it until God showed me what true freedom and liberty are really about.

I thought I was on the side of what was right, I thought that God was going to use us to save and help the community in the Pacific Northwest to give glory to His name and help bring about a restoration of faith and hope should things get really bad in the world.

Yes, did I say things that I am not proud of because I thought that I was doing God’s will? Yes.

Have I ever done anything illegal? No.

Are they attempting to smear me on alternative media sites with false statements and negative information? Yes, but I forgive them.

Have I gone to those individuals I sinned against and asked forgiveness of them for my words and made it right? Yes I did that a long time ago.

I have because it’s the Biblical thing to do and I know it was the right thing to do. Doing the right thing is incredibly hard to do, but forgiveness is divine and grace is amazing for all that accept it.

Does Matt and his associates believe they are doing the right thing in God’s name? Yes, but in my opinion, this couldn’t be further from what we know to be Christ’s great commission.

In my opinion, Matthew, the Church at Marble Community Fellowship near Northport WA and anyone tied to his spiritual ideology are focused on one thing and one thing; The sheer use of raw power and fear to achieve their political and spiritual ideology that only Christians should lead the United States of America. This is Christian Identity Politics and Dominionism in its purest form and it is dangerous. It’s also idolatry to put politics before the Lord. I am going to reference the following statement by a quote by the aforementioned article on this;

“Yes, a nation is better served by laws influenced by Christian ethics, and yes, we are obliged by love to persuade others of the wisdom of Christian ethics; but we cannot “insist on our own way” (1 Cor. 13:5) by forcing unbelievers to submit to our morals. Yes, borders should be secure, but they can go hand in hand with a generous immigration policy. Yes, every nation is graced with favor from God but also is subject to God’s judgment.”

The focus of Christian Identity politics is to force people to subscribe under pain of death (according to Matt’s Biblical Basis For War and the Remnant Resolves) to the belief in Christianity and should you not, you are the enemy and are demonized for being an “atheist”, “communist”, “Pegan”, “Social Justice Warrior”, “leftwing liberal”, “Benedict Arnold” who must associate with “Antifa” and should be put to death under the Dominionistic / Christian Identity ideology.

Once I uncovered this, I could not and would not stand for those ideals. That is why I released the chats. No one should be subjected to those types of ideals. God loves all.

Why have I kept quiet about this you might ask? Well out of heavy safety concerns for my family and those I hold dear. I had hoped the local media would be able to bring about the truth and that anyone reading this would have already seen and understood that this behavior and ideology is wrong.

By bringing this to the forefront I beg that you all read and understand that this isn’t Christianity. I also hope that by being more public with my statement on this, should anything happen to me or my family or those I hold dearest, those in this movement would be held severely accountable for their actions. We don’t anticipate this, God is sovereign, but this is a rebellion against their theology and now I have gone against “Asa”.

Have I contacted legal counsel should I need it? Yes. I hope to never have to bring any lawsuits against anyone for harassment or physical intimidation. God is sovereign.

My God, our God is a God of love and forgiveness and wants all of you to know that you are loved, and he doesn’t want to kill you if you don’t believe in him. He is not going to bring about civil war and he certainly isn’t going to come on the clouds and bless the USA should the entire sitting body of the government be Christian in belief. Is there a deeper conversation to be had about faith, grace and redemption and what that means, sure, but those conversations are best left for quiet private conversations and to allow the Holy Spirit to work in the hearts of those being talked with.

It is not for us to judge race, creed, ethnicity, sex, orientation or belief. It is for us to love our neighbor and to show them Christ’s love. Everyone is our neighbor and we are instructed to love our neighbor as yourself and not force our neighbor believe like we believe. Once we realize that, then we can allow the holy spirit work and bring about true freedom and spiritual liberty. This cannot and should not be done through force of action or threat of death.

Do I still love Matthew, his associates, Barry and Anne Byrd and the rest of the Marble fellowship people? Yes, absolutely I do, but I still struggle daily with doing this. We are called to love your enemy and pray for those who persecute you (Matt 5:44). I don’t view these people as my enemy but because I am human I have to work each day to love the sinner and hate the sin. I grieve the fact that they would rather demonize someone who doesn’t believe like them rather than engaging in a dialog that could lead to an extraordinary moment. I believe that through pain/struggle, comes healing and restoration and that is what our region and our country needs most right now. We don’t need anger, we don’t need hate, we don’t need division. This has to stop.

In closing, I hope that as you have read this statement you understand that I am not the same man who thought he was serving the right cause, but now stand in front of you begging you to see that the leadership in Olympia represented in the Spokane Valley area is on a path that will spiritually destroy people and soul of this region. Left unchecked it will also physically destroy it someday as well if their plan is enacted.

Some will read this and view this as a political stunt. It isn’t, it’s so much bigger than just the man in office. Yes, this does have major political ramifications, but this is about the soul of the area. Christian Identity Politics and Dominionism has no place in our region, it does not fulfill the great commission. It does not encourage healthy dialog between groups who believe differently. It does not encourage those without a voice to speak up and it certainly doesn’t bring people together to work towards better communities. It goes against everything this country was founded on.

Know that what you feel is right, this isn’t ok. Go with your heart, do what’s right and know that you are loved by the King of the Universe who has a plan for your life despite whatever your background may be.

Special Note: This will be my only statement on this situation, I will take no media inquiries nor answer any questions or engage in nonproductive dialog regarding this post. Any and all threats regarding this post, attempts at physical intimidation, veiled threats to my business ventures will all be forwarded to my council for consideration and prosecution should the need be.

The Future of Wolves in Washington: Will they ever be just another critter in the woods?


[Article by contributing writer Melissa Grant,wildlife/outdoor enthusiast and pet trainer/owner of Miss Lola’s Academy for Wayward Dogs]

Out here in the Snoqualmie Valley we fancy ourselves as outdoor wildlife savvy people. We chuckle when we hear of hikers being afraid of animals on the trail. We’ve even been known to openly scoff at those who come unprepared for close encounters of the wild kind. We know how to handle ourselves when it comes to bears, coyotes or even cougars!

In 2015 a lone wolf was killed on I-90 and people thought its presence was a fluke. Well, another was seen on camera on the North Fork in 2018. So, valley residents, are you ready for wolves in the Snoqualmie Valley?

Last week the statewide wolf specialist, Benjamin Maletzke, with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife was the guest speaker at the monthly Upper Valley Elk Management Groups meeting.  He was there to tell us about the Gray Wolf Conservation and Management 2018 annual report.

Like the previous year the plan’s objective are to:

  • Restore self-sustaining wolf populations
  • Maintain healthy ungulate populations
  • Manage wolf-livestock conflicts
  • Develop public understanding and promote co-existence

But while the plan’s objectives remain the same, some of the wolf numbers have changed. Last year there were at least 122 wolves in the state, making up 22 packs with 16 breeding pairs. This year Washington was home to at least 126 wolves, 27 packs and 15 successful breeding pair. (This is a minimum count, so the number in Washington is likely higher).

This year four wolves were lethally removed for wolf-caused livestock deaths. In 2017 three were removed for the same offense. According to the report, the WDFW spent $1,217,326 on wolf management activities during the 2018 fiscal year, compared to $1,272,314 last year.

Six new packs formed – one very close to the Teanaway Pack, the closest one to the Snoqualmie Valley; one pack disbanded; and the first wolf pack of the modern era was confirmed in Western Washington. In 2017 a lone wolf was found and collared in Skagit county. In 2018 the same wolf was found to be traveling with another wolf (a pack is two individuals traveling together) and the Diobsub Creek pack was born, named for the area in which they spend their time.

Some of this new information got me asking Ben questions about the likelihood that someday we might have wolves in the Snoqualmie Valley. His reply was unsurprising to me, but might surprise others:

It is possible. Just outside of the residential development in the valley is a large expanse of managed forest, state and federal lands with deer and elk.  I don’t know exactly where we might see wolves settle in the future, but I think that wildland is a possible area”

The Valley is a large area. The school district counts the valley as being from Ames Lake to the Pass, 400 sq. miles. So, how many wolves would live here with us? 25? 50? I couldn’t ask him to definitively predict the future, but asked him to opine based on the space, average pack and territory size. Said Maletzke,

If wolves settled there, they would be in packs that occupy around 300 – 350 sq. miles.  The packs don’t overlap in their use of space and the average pack size in Washington is around 4 wolves/pack.”

 Oh, ok so using my rudimentary math skills, I can see the number would be much less than 50 and probably closer to 4.

During the meeting someone asked about an incident in June in which a Forest Service worker doing a research survey was treed by a pack of wolves and was rescued by a DNR helicopter.

At the time the coverage was sparse, but basically told a tale of a woman who happened upon a wolf rendezvous site (home or activity sites where weaned pups are brought from the den until they are old enough to join adult wolves in hunting activity), felt unsafe when she heard the wolves, tried to scare them off with bear spray and then climbed the tree to escape.

Maletzke said the woman heard the wolves barking at her when she first went into the area, but didn’t know that was their way of telling her to go away. When asked if it was fair to say that she went in with good intentions and good tools, but maybe not complete information on what to look for, how to behave etc.? He replied:

I think your interpretation is correct.  Similar to domestic dogs or horses, animals have warning signs that can tell you if you are in their space (pinning ears, baring teeth, barking, or growling.) In this instance the woman happened to be working near a rendezvous site where the pups were. The wolves wanted her to leave so they barked at her. Instead of leaving, she climbed a tree to feel safe and called for assistance. If a similar occurrence happened it would be best to just hike out of the area.”

Trust me, I am not one to throw stones. While I would hope I’d do the right thing given the same circumstances, I have yet to confront a pack of wolves, which led me to my next question. Is this the only human/wolf encounter of its kind you know of in the state in recent years? The answer to that was thankfully: “Yes, that I know of.”

He gave out some great pamphlets at the meeting about Washington’s Wolves (you can get yours at http://westernwildlife.org/gray-wolf-outreach-project/) and to me it looked like the advice for a wolf encounter is basically the same as for a bear encounter. He agreed. So if you are lucky enough to see one of these creatures – or just hike in an area where they might be – the advice is to:

  • Stay calm and do not run
  • Stand tall and make yourself look larger
  • Slowly back away and maintain eye contact
  • Keep dogs on leash
  • Carry bear spray
  • Hike in groups

An encounter would be extraordinarily rare as wolves generally fear and avoid people. The risk to human safety is low.

Wolf – part of the Naneum pack.

I do know another concern people have is the risk to our domesticated animals. What about dogs, cats and livestock? What can we do to keep them safe? For dogs he said to keep them on leash when hiking, always good advice. As far as livestock goes what doesn’t work is-

Leaving carcasses or bone piles in the back of the pasture, leaving garbage and food rewards out, not cleaning up afterbirth during a calving operation.  This stuff can lure carnivores in from a long way away. Sanitation can help avoid these interactions with carnivores.”

He suggested taking a look at their website here for more information on protecting livestock.

I must admit I welcome the idea of wolves in the valley. So, I was pretty easy to convince they wouldn’t be a problem. I’ve done a fair bit of research and reading on wild carnivores in the past and am convinced they are not any more of a problem than our bears and cougars. In fact, I think they are an important part of a healthy ecosystem and would do our valley a world of good. If you are unconvinced or just curious you can read the wolf report with the link provided above or watch it on YouTube below.

Let us know if you agree with Ben that wolves are just another critter in the woods or believe they should never be allowed back in the area.

You can also contact Benjamin Maletzke, Statewide Wolf Specialist Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife at benjamin.maletzke@dfw.wa.gov

There is an online reporting tool if you would like to report a wolf sighting or you can call 1-877-933-9847.

Location of WA State Wolf packs